New Information Integration Frontiers for NASA

Space agency to use software to provide integrated information to flight control teams that monitor, maintain the International Space Station

Space agency to use software to provide integrated information to flight control teams that monitor, maintain the International Space Station

San Mateo, CA — January 3, 2006 — Composite Software, the Enterprise Information Integration (EII) leader, announced today that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is using its Composite Information Server (CIS) 3.6 in the space agency's Systems Health Information Portal (SHIP) concept prototype for the International Space Station (ISS).

SHIP is a prototype enterprise software system that provides integrated information to flight control teams that monitor and maintain the ISS as it supports astronauts in earth orbit. Composite's CIS 3.6 is on-demand, integration software that gives access to distributed data stored in disparate locations and applications, delivering this information as a single view.

The Composite Information Server is a key component of Problem Reporting and Corrective Action Analysis, a prototype SHIP application, explained Ronald Mak, senior computer scientist and enterprise architect contracted by NASA from the University of California at Santa Cruz to design and implement SHIP. He said that whenever an anomaly occurs on the ISS, the onboard astronauts and the ground support team need to find all related data, and then quickly and reliably analyze the fault, determine its cause, and recommend a fix.

By using CIS and the graphical Composite Studio we can configure access to the data sources, specify automatic data conversions and create joins between views, Mak said. This is all part of the transformation of disparate data into useful, integrated information, and ultimately into knowledge bases of fault analyses, prognostications and corrective procedures.

The data used by the ground support team is in different formats and housed in a variety of sources, such as database repositories, file archives and sensor data streams. The Composite Information Server accesses these different data sources and presents all the information in uniform, tabular views that are easy to analyze. Mak said NASA expects this will allow the technical teams to quickly and easily find interrelationships, which are important for problem-solving.

Rick Alena, a computer engineer at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and who leads the SHIP development team, works with the Space Station Avionics Office to develop new applications for vehicle operations support. Using Station as a test bed for new vehicle management tools allows us to build rapid prototypes and deploy them at Johnson Space Center in Houston for evaluation by avionics software developers, flight controllers and flight engineers, said Alena.

We're thrilled to be part of history in the making' as a technology provider for NASA and its manned space exploration program, added Michael Abbott, chief technology officer and founder of Composite Software. We feel a synergy with NASA, albeit on a less grand scale, for just as NASA is breaking down barriers with its program, we at Composite have sought to break down barriers to information through our pioneering EII technology.